Public Narrative, Collective Action, and Power

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Public Narrative, Collective Action, and Power

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Title: Public Narrative, Collective Action, and Power
Author: Ganz, Marshall Louis
Citation: Ganz, Marshall. 2011. "Public Narrative, Collective Action, and Power." In Accountability Through Public Opinion: From Inertia to Public Action, eds. Sina Odugbemi and Taeku Lee: 273-289. Washington D.C: The World Bank.
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Abstract: Focuses on public narrative, defined as a leadership practice of translating values into action, based on the fact that values are experienced emotionally. Narrative is the discursive means people use to access values that equip them with the courage to make choices under conditions of uncertainty. Leadership requires understanding that while some emotions can inhibit mindful action, others can facilitate it. Leaders engage others in purposeful action by mobilizing those feelings that facilitate action to trump feelings that inhibit action. Organizations that lack a story lack an identity, a culture, core values thatcan be articulated and drawn on to motivate. Leaders learn to tell the story of their organization by identifying the choice points of the organization's journey, recounting experiences that communicate the values embedded in the work of the organization. Public narrative, understood as a leadership art, is an invaluable resource to stem the tides of apathy, alienation, cynicism, and defeatism.
Published Version: 10.1596/9780821385050_ch18
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